Chapter 3

Trends in Client Characteristics

Facility Operation
Primary Focus of Facility
Type of Care Received
Clients Receiving Methadone or Buprenorphine in Opioid Treatment Programs
Substance Abuse Problem Treated
Clients under Age 18 in Treatment

This chapter presents trends in client characteristics for 2004 to 2008.

Table 3.1. The number of clients in treatment on the survey reference date increased by 11 percent from 2004 to 2008, from 1,072,251 in 2004 to 1,192,490 in 2008.

Facility Operation

Table 3.1 and Figure 6. In almost all categories of facility operation, the proportions of clients in treatment changed slightly between 2004 and 2008.


1 Data for the Federal agencies specified in the survey (the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense, the Indian Health Service, and other unspecified Federal agencies) are detailed in the tables.

Figure 6
Clients in Treatment, by Facility Operation: 2004-2008

Stacked bar comparing Clients in Treatment, by Facility Operation: 2004-2008

SOURCE: Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration,
National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS), 2004-2008.

Primary Focus of Facility

Table 3.1. In almost all categories of facility primary focus of activity, the proportions of clients in treatment changed very little from 2004 to 2008.

Figure 7
Clients in Treatment, by Type of Care Received: 2004-2008

Bar and line chart comparing Clients in Treatment, by Type of Care Received: 2004-2008

SOURCE: Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration,
National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS), 2004-2008.

Type of Care Received

Table 3.2 and Figure 7. The proportions of clients in treatment for the major types of care—outpatient, residential (non-hospital), and hospital inpatient—were stable between 2004 and 2008.

Clients Receiving Methadone or Buprenorphine in Opioid Treatment Programs

Table 3.2 and Figure 7. Clients receiving methadone or buprenorphine could be in any type of care—outpatient, residential (non-hospital), or hospital inpatient. Clients could receive methadone only in Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs), certified by SAMHSA to provide medication-assisted therapy with methadone and buprenorphine. However, clients could receive buprenorphine in any facility.

Substance Abuse Problem Treated

Table 3.3. The proportion of clients in treatment for three broad categories of substance abuse problems—both alcohol and drug abuse, drug abuse only, and alcohol abuse only—changed very little between 2004 and 2008. Clients in treatment for both drug and alcohol abuse made up 45 to 46 percent of all clients from 2004 to 2008. Clients in treatment for drug abuse only ranged from 34 to 36 percent of all clients from 2004 through 2008. The proportion of clients treated for alcohol abuse only ranged from 18 to 20 percent between 2004 and 2008.

Clients under Age 18 in Treatment

Table 3.4. Clients under age 18 made up between 7 and 8 percent of all clients from 2004 through 2008.

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